Masthead header

Top Twenty: #13-16

Well, the Twenty’s today have this in common: knowing them could save someone’s life and the life you save could be your own. Literally. Hee. Making myself laugh so early in the morning? Priceless.

#16 How to Change a Flat Tire: Yikes! I really want this one on the list because….well…because, it could possibly be that I’m not entirely sure I could pull it off myself. It’s on my list of goals and dreams for 2008 though. Slacker alternative for knowing how to change a tire: make a goal to learn how to change a tire.

#15 CPR and the Heimlich. I know, I know, you never think you’ll need it. But trust me, a well-executed Heimlich in a busy restaurant will probably get you on the news, or at least a free dinner or something. Seriously, if you ever DO need it, you’ll be endlessly thankful that you learned it. Tons of information (though beware: they seem a little sassy about it) here. Visit this site and then tell me how much you love the picture they chose to illustrate “first aid.” Heh.

#14 How to Use Jumper Cables without blowing up your car. I have experience in this! I have watched smoke curling up from the engine and seen my cables liquefy in front of my little eyes, so I still call my husband every time to have him talk me through it. Interesting aside: I’ve found that the need for jumper cables always occurs on the coldest day of the year. In fact, just thinking about jumper cables makes my hands cold and numb. Weird.

#13 How the Rest of the World Lives. If you woke up this morning, turned on the kitchen faucet and water came out, then you’re in the top tiny percentage of people living in the lap of luxury. If you eat three meals today – even if two of them are Top Ramen – you’re wildly affluent compared to your global neighbors. If you have been fully immunized against disease or have ever been treated by a docter when you were sick…wow…that’s pretty darn wealthy. If you’ve cast a vote, attended church or gone outside without a veil over your face without fear, then you oughta be dancing in the streets today because you are blessed indeed. Bonus points (from Heaven) if you let that awareness motivate you to action.

For perspective on that last one, please read Left to Tell by Immaculae Ilabagiza. It’s a heart-wrenching read, but it’s good for us in America to occasionally let the anesthesia wear off, you know?

SO excited about tomorrow’s Twenty,


May 1, 2008 - 12:06 am

Kristin Bryan - I would like to add an additional “Slacker alternative for knowing how to change a tire”: ORDER AAA

AAA saves my life – I never leave home without it ๐Ÿ˜‰

who needs to know how to change a tire, or remember where their keys are when you have AAA?

Who needs to hold on to their keys on the LAS VEGAS strip when you have AAA (that was a jab at Luke who lost his car keys somewhere on the Las Vegas strip.. good thing for AAA because we would have been stuck there overnight without it)

May 1, 2008 - 4:11 am

Katie - Yay me! I know how to do all those things. Although I am constantly afraid to do jumper cables myself. But my dad made me change and rechange my tire 5 times before I was allowed to get my license. And my tire goes flat every year in 1 foot of snow…figures.

May 1, 2008 - 8:28 pm

bolovesjoe - Slacker alternative to calling Triple A when you lose your keys in Las Vegas: stay overnight and spend a lot of money at a really great restaurant. Helpful ideas are what I’m good at.

Katie, your dad is brilliant. That’s all I have to say.

May 2, 2008 - 10:31 am

Kristin Bryan - Haha, we had just barely started dating at the time.. so I’m not sure that would have been a great plan.. and I’m not sure you would have endorsed it ๐Ÿ™‚

May 20, 2008 - 3:42 am

Phil - Jumper Cables ouch, thats a hard one… I feel like I’ve had to jump a car maybe 30 times in my life and I still mess that one up. Just the other day I was jumping my car to my cousins, and for some reason his cables are the opposite color, and low and behold lots of smoke, and bad things to my little Volkswagen.

Top Twenty List: #18 & 19

Continuing my rambling rant on the Top Twenty things Every Woman Should Know:

#18 How to cook one really great dinner. Just one is all you need to impress your date, your dad or your neighbor, Thad (RIP, Dr. Seuss). I love this site for beginners because it has tons of pictures. And this one is great if you’re anywhere on the scale from intermediate to pro. And two great foodie blogs, just for inspiration’s sake: Orangette and Smitten Kitchen.

#17 The correct usage of the word “literally”. Everyone who knows me well – particularly those who have shared a home or a last name with me – will assure you that this one is very near to my heart. If you take a week and pay attention to the way people use the word, you’ll find it’s almost always wrong. Here’s my rule of thumb: unless I’m looking for an ACTUAL needle in an honest-to-goodness haystack, then the word “literally” does not apply and should not come nigh unto my sentence. Unless the way that girl sang that song really and truly caused my brain to explode, then saying it “literally blew my mind” is not okay. Figuratively…that’s the way our minds generally are blown and that’s the way needles are usually sought for in haystacks. Admittedly, saying “It was so funny I figuratively died laughing,” doesn’t pack the same punch, but – hey – I didn’t make the rules, I just like to talk about ’em!

Well, this post has been very cathartic for me. Thank you.

Wishing it was Literally 87 Degrees Today,


April 30, 2008 - 9:50 am

Corina Burgess - I literally hurt myself nodding my head in agreement with you. OK, not LITERALLY! What’s a little whiplash anyway? ha! I’ve got it down now, I go grab starbucks, then read your blog and it “literally” feels like Im with you. Hey go to TBN online look in the archives on April 25th and watch. Our Senior Pastor Randy Hand was interviewed. Gives you a good glimpse of what we’re doing these days and you might catch me, Jon and Lance in the audience! What can I say since my debut on Price is Right, the camera loves me!

April 30, 2008 - 11:06 am

Jessica Carpenter - Amen on the “literally”. Mike Summers and I have a long (long long long long) running joke about it’s misuse. And you know how good long running jokes with Mike are!

April 30, 2008 - 10:11 pm

bolovesjoe - Jess – yep, I appreciate Mike’s ability to maintain a joke for the long haul and I definitely think you have that anointing as well.

Corina – We watched it and loved it! And I really think I saw you but it would have helped if you would have done the wave, or that dance you used to do in Oneighty after all the kids had left the building. Seriously, we loved your pastor’s vision and heart and humility and can clearly see why God called you there. I hope we can visit someday soon!

Top Twenty Things List: Post #1

You know, I have found that this blog has become an interesting little window. Through it, I think people can see a little more clearly into my life and my rambling thoughts…but it turns out the window goes both ways and I can see you too! And it’s fun! But you should definitely pull your blinds sometimes. I kid! You’re all awesome!

Seriously, most of the posts that I have written have been in response to a question that someone has asked me after I’ve spoken somewhere for some reason. They ask, I try to answer and then I think, “Hey! I should write about that. Right after I finish writing about burnt chicken and CLC dating habits, I’m going to get to that!” So, this post does not reflect a specific question…but it is totally the result of my meeting and knowing and speaking to hundreds of women and being amazed at the things that some know and some don’t. You may not agree with my choices…feel free to rebut, the window is wide open. I promise to post a couple every day until we get to the magic number 1. Most of them are totally free, they just require a little time…and for some, I’ll include a slacker alternative. So…without further preamble, prelude or prejudice…I give you the Top Twenty Things Every Woman Should Know List:

#20 The names of the current US President, Vice President, Speaker of the House & Secretary of State. Bonus points for knowing the names of three other world leaders. Dead ones don’t count unless you know how and when they died. If the death is a particularly good story then I’ll give you a pass on the Secretary of State.

#19 How to win at least one card game. Slacker alternative: How to PLAY at least one card game. Everything you ever needed to know about both the playing and the winning is right here.

It’s gonna be a fun week,


April 29, 2008 - 9:16 am

Tara - So I am confused…are we supposed to answer the question? or are you showing us what we should know? ๐Ÿ™‚
Skip over the answers if you haven’t come up with yours yet, I guess

here are my answers….
If people read the newspaper they should know about these guys…
Nancy Pelosi is the speaker of the house. Everyone knows that. (At least I hope they do!)Condoleezza Rice is the US Secretary of state. George W. Bush is the president for a little while longer w/ Dick Cheney as the VP.Hugo Chavez is in charge of Argentina right now. I am not a fan of him.
Robert Mugabe is leading Zimbabwe
Thabo Mbeki is in charge of South Africa (and Nelson Mandela before him).

April 29, 2008 - 8:06 pm

bolovesjoe - Tara, answers aren’t required, but I always like them! And…bonus points for the names of world leaders which can be randomly dropped into conversations that are dragging. (“How ’bout that Hugo Chavez? He’s a doozy!”)

Coffee next week – I’ll have Katie shoot you a time! M

April 30, 2008 - 12:29 am

Amanda Miller - Let’s see, without cheating…

President – George W. Bush Jr.
Vice President – Dick Cheney
Speaker of the House – Nancy Pilossi
Secretary of State – Condolizza Rice

I think I’m right.

BTW I like your comment about CLC dating habits. Today Dane got a text in OT and said, “I have an important announcement everyone,” and Fab and I (and maybe some others who were too embarrassed to admit it) thought Dane was going to annouse a proposal to Katie.



Matthew 11:28 “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to Me. Get away with Me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with Me and work with Me – watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with Me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

Jesus is talking to people here who have been following God the only way they know how. The “way” was chiseled out by God – and then a man made system was handwritten in the margins. And even for those who longed for more, all the doing and sacrificing and performing and pleasing must have left them aching at the end of the day…starving for just a taste of the God behind the veil. Surely, in the midst of all the trying and hoop-jumping, every true God-seeker was longing to catch a glimpse of His face and to know that for even just a moment, they had been seen by Him.

And then came Jesus.

This question He asks: “are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion?” is the first indication to them that He knows their secrets. He sees where no one else can see and He cares about the frustrations that live behind the the frenzied actions. I can imagine that every head began to nod and every eye began to well with tears.

Yes, we’re tired.

Worn out? Absolutely.

Burned out on the system? Without a doubt. But it’s all we have. It’s the only visible gauge available for measuring our right standing with the invisible God. There is no other system…is there?

“Come to Me.”


“Get away with Me and you will recover your life.” Big, big, BIG words. They had – in the process of serving and striving – lost the life in their lives. KJV says “you shall find rest for your souls.” That word rest means “intermission or recreation”. In the midst of the busyness of following God, they had lost the powerful pause that needs to built into it all – not for impressing Him, but for enjoying Him. They needed to recover the pause…the intermission…the whole meaning of real LIFE. Because in those moments of meeting with Him, He fits His yoke on us. He shows us how to “walk with Him and work with Him.” Clearly, what they thought was “with Him” before, was not. Much of the activity that was wearing them down and burning them out was – in fact – worthless. Shoot. That’s frustrating. And freeing. And really pretty wonderful.

Loving the pause,


April 27, 2008 - 1:08 pm

Katie - Love it, love it, love it, love it, love it. I’m sure you’ve already heard it, but you should listen to Casey’s song The Moment We Break. It makes me cry every time and it’s definitely worth a download, even before that darn CD ever gets out.

April 28, 2008 - 6:18 am

helenw13 - I believe much of our walk with the Lord is all about being in recovery…I love that translation…that by coming to Him…we will in fact recover our life…exchanging what we thought life was and learning what life lived in Him is…sometimes if I dwell on how I thought I was “doing it right”…I could just curl up in a ball and never get up again…but Thanks be to God…He is much too loving and tender to leave me on the cold lineleum…for that I am grateful…eternally.

Thanks Bo…you always stir up my soul in a deep challenging way yet I know you are on the same road…so I am so glad I have company on this stroll.

Peace to you,


April 28, 2008 - 11:20 am

bolovesjoe - Helen, I’ve recently become familiar with the lines of the linoleum myself…but I think I’m seeing the light of day. ๐Ÿ™‚ That translation made me think of how we say “I gave my whole life to that …ministry/relationship/job…” and I was wondering how many times we give our LIFE life – the very thing that Jesus came to give back to us. Anyway…this one is still forming in my head, but thanks for the encouragement in the journey.

Katie – I will download forthwith and immediately. I hope YOU get a great pause this week. It’s been a busy…um…decade. ๐Ÿ™‚

What Pastors Talk About in Bed

(Note: At the risk of revealing our deep, inner dorkiness AND getting spammed with one million terrible emails, I still chose that title. So brave!)

Me: I know you want to go to sleep, but I need to ask you a really important question. It’s really, really important.

Steve: Okay, hit me.

Me: If you could only have – for the rest of your life with no exceptions whatsoever – three books of the Bible, which three would you choose?

Steve: That’s a terrible question.

Me: No, it’s a great one because it will make you prioritize!

Steve: Okay. Psalms. A gospel – probably John. And Revelations.


Me: Um…Revelations? (Pause) Really? Are you sure you don’t want to re-visit that choice?

Steve: No. It’s the perfect choice because if I only had three books I’d want to know what’s coming.

Me: Hmmm…I don’t know that Revelations ever makes “what’s coming” much clearer for me.

Steve: Yes it does, you just don’t like it. Also, it tells us so much about worship. And also, these are my choices, Bo. Leave them alone. What are yours?

Me: Definitely Psalms. A gospel – probably Luke.

Steve: Luke? Why not John?

Me: Because Luke has the Christmas story! I couldn’t live all the rest of the Christmases of my lifetime without the Christmas story.

Steve: But John has “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us,” and that’s like your favorite scripture.

Me: I know. Sad. Really sad. I’m going to miss John so much. Maybe I could borrow YOUR copy of John?

Steve: No way, sister! You said THREE books only. You said NO exceptions. Borrowing would violate the whole arrangement.

Me: ARGH! This is a terrible question.

Steve: You still have one book left.

Me: (Sigh) I know . Let’s see. I guess Galatians, because I’m reading it right now and it’s changing my life.

Steve: Yeah, but you said it’s changing your life because you’re also reading Deuteronomy. Are you keeping Deuteronomy?

Me: NO! I don’t want Deuteronomy!

Steve: But it’s all about the generations.

Me: Shoot. It is. I want Deuteronomy!

Steve: How about we go a different way here? How about you tell me which books you COULD live without.

Me: Well, I guess maybe 1 & 2 Chronicles because it’s a lot of repeat from Kings…but then we have no “If My people which are called by My name…” We need that verse in America to survive!

Steve: Okaaaaay. Well, how about the Samuels?

Me: (sitting up, aghast and appalled) Are you kidding me right now (tm: Lindsay Parnell)? The story of Israel’s transition from judges to kings? It’s a stage-setting story. Foundational. Essential in every way!

Steve: (Yawn) Okay, Bo, we’ll keep the Samuels.

Me: I suppose – if push came to shove – I could let go of Esther, because it’s kind of isolated and not essential to the rest of the Old Testament.


Steve: “For such a time as this…”

Me: Blast! This is a terrible, terrible question!

Steve: I think I have a fever and I have to speak in Oneighty tomorrow.

Me: I’ll be quiet now. But I’m keeping Esther.

So…it was an enlightening discussion and when I opened my Bible the next morning I wanted to kiss every single page. I also decided to memorize more.

Now, Steve and I wish to pass our misery along to you. Three books. Three books only. For the rest of your life. What will they be? (It’s way harder than you think. Or maybe not. Maybe you’re very decisive or unmarried so you don’t have someone else messing up your choices.)

Happy choosing,


P.S. Today is Steve’s 46th birthday and I think this post just proves what a terrifically patient and amazing guy he is. Happy birthday, wonderful husband…I love you more than words can say!

April 22, 2008 - 11:08 pm

Katie - Because I have nobody to throw out reasons why not…

John (even if just for chapters 13-21)
Psalms (for sure!)

Hey, it’s a book!

April 23, 2008 - 12:19 am

cass-a-rooh - worst question ever.

i feel like that’s asking a soldier, gone off to war, falling more in more in love with his pretty fair maiden by her letters, to pic only three that explain why he loves her.

so with that in mind i will just say that i LOVE that you and Steve had this conversation…and someday when i have someone to argue the point with PERHAPS i will. =)

April 23, 2008 - 3:41 am

Kristin Bryan - 1st of all – I laughed really hard, mostly because this is something equally ridiculous as most of Luke and I’s conversations.
2nd of all – I am TRULY appalled that you even CONSIDERED taking out the Samuels.. I would have to have 1st Samuel..
1- 1Samuel, God spoke to me about being a teacher through these books, and you can’t throw out a book that provides vision.

2- Hosea, couldn’t live without “Therefore, behold, I will allure her,and bring her into the wilderness,and speak tenderly to her. And there I will give her her vineyardsand make the Valley of Achor a door of hope.And there she shall answer as in the days of her youth,as at the time when she came out of the land of Egypt. And in that day, declares the Lord, you will call me My Husband, and no longer will you call me My Baal. For I will remove the names of the Baals from her mouth, and they shall be remembered by name no more. And I will make for them a covenant on that day with the beasts of the field, the birds of the heavens, and the creeping things of the ground. And I will abolish the bow, the sword, and war from the land, and I will make you lie down in safety. And I will betroth you to me forever. I will betroth you to me in righteousness and in justice, in steadfast love and in mercy. I will betroth you to me in faithfulness. And you shall know the Lord.”

3- Psalms – because really, where would be all be without the Psalms?

4- a sharp knife to hold other people hostage until they fork over THEIR 3 books

April 23, 2008 - 3:43 am

Kristin Bryan - I would also like to add that I have discovered from this post why Luke and I are not pastors.. most of the time our “bedroom conversation” consists of one of us saying something and then going back and forth saying ridiculous things that rhyme with it.. and this can go on for hours.
We clearly don’t have spiritual enough bedroom conversations ๐Ÿ˜‰

April 23, 2008 - 9:57 am

keri schulz - First – The Gospel of John. Mainly, because it contains my favorite verse: “(21:12), Jesus said to them, ‘Come and have breakfast.’ what’s better than breakfast with Jesus??

Second – Acts, because, the cool thing about Acts is, that in Peter’s sermon (ch 2) and Stephen’s speech (ch.7), you basically get a synopsis of the entire bible. It’s like cheating…
and, this book shows me in real-life-flesh-and-blood-style what a crazy abandoned life consumed by the Holy Spirit can look like. Even death seems meaningful for these disciples.

Third – psalms seems to be the common denominator, but for me, it merely comes down to the fact that I can’t really even open my bible without ending up reading at least one.

(since I have no husband to discuss these things with…the questioning voices in my head will have to suffice – “are you kidding? you didn’t pick ephesians? it’s hands-down the most marked up part of your bible.”
– good point, but if I’m getting only 3 books, at least john, acts, and psalms have lots of chapters…
“what about Galatians? It wars against the huge part of you that tries to earn everything.”
– definately…still…refer to previous answer – only 5 chapters in galatians.

“obviously, you care about quantity more than quality!”

-it’s the inspired word of God! It’s ALL quality. how bout more quantity of the quality??

“you win.”

enough of my schizophrenic bible arguments…now the world wide web has a window into the crazy mind of Keri Schulz…

it’s been fun.
miss you all from California. but..I did get a pretty sweet tan this weekend, and enjoyed disneyland last tuesday…just saying…in case anyone wants to visit!!! ha.

April 24, 2008 - 4:38 am

Jessica Carpenter - First of all… Keri, you bum! It’s been raining in a biblical sort of way here. Dumb. But green.

Here it is…

Luke-(7:37-38- “Give and it will be given to you, good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over.”… and I’m just saying, at the end of 17:9 Jesus says “Does he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I think not.” which sounds totally sass and awesome.)
Romans-Practical Christianity
Isaiah-God’s character
I picked 5, because I don’t have a husband to keep me accountable yet! Don’t worry, when I start dating I’ll have him give 2 books the ax… but till then, I’m enjoying all 5!

April 24, 2008 - 5:34 am

Kristin Bryan - Jessica,
When you start dating you hold on to all 5 of those books! When you get married you might have to compromise a little, but don’t give up your books for a measly boyfriend ๐Ÿ˜‰

April 24, 2008 - 8:33 am

The Amazing Tara - 1. Psalms. How could I LIVE w/out all of those amazing promises!? Faith grows by hearing, and hearing by the word of God! It just wouldn’t be the same to read Exodus out loud to build faith. Pshahhh!
2. A gospel. For sure Luke! Because of Zach and Elizabeth, and Anna, and Simeon, and this great little verse…” Because of God’s tender mercy, the light from heaven is about to break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, and to guide us to the path of peace.”
3. I can get my books in every single stinkin translation right?
4. 1 and 2 Kings. The books are basically one! And I love to see how God worked in the lives or ordinary people and some got it right and some didn’t

April 24, 2008 - 9:36 am

bolovesjoe - Oh my goodness you guys are great thinkers! Katie and Jess get called for violations for being over the book limit (loud, obnoxious buzzer noise here.) Cassie – aw…that’s such a nice analogy. I want to know which letters he picked!

Kristin – if this is evidence why you and Luke aren’t pastors, it’s also evidence of why Steve and I should work at Starbucks or Home Depot or something.

Keri – It totally loved getting to view the debate in your head. But I hope you won’t have to argue with yourself for TOO long.:)

Tara – it’s a lot of fun for me to picture you reading Exodus out loud. And did you know that 1 & 2 Kings used to be a continuation of 1 & 2 Samuel and they were all known as “the book of the Kings” so I think that you could actually get 4 for the price of 1 there, depending on who’s keeping score and whether or not you’re using a Hebrew Bible.

April 25, 2008 - 3:24 am

Helen - Impossible question…impossible answer…

Could I just choose two? The Old book and the New Book…ha!

But if I had to pick three…definitely Psalms…Philippians because I would have to learn about joy since I was without the other 63 books…and finally…hmmmm…for this week it would be John…

Aren’t we blessed…I can’t imagine not having His Word as close as an arm’s length…makes me want to weep and pray more for those that don’t have access to the Living Word.

I think you could have the title of a bestseller…for sure!

April 26, 2008 - 7:21 am

becky sipe - blog updated and ready to read!!

April 28, 2008 - 10:56 pm

Tori - Wow, I see my future as exactly that.:) As for the books Psalms cause what else am I supposed to read when I’m scared at night? Deuteronomy because of 10:10-11 “‘Go,’ said the Lord to me, “and lead the people on their way, so that they may enter and possess the land that I swore to their fathers to give them.” This means to me Tori you’re a pastor in the making. And-uh-oh…Acts has Stephen possibly my favorite person for many reasons, but John has Jesus calling all his disciples and knowing who they are even when they don’t. Oh dear.

April 28, 2008 - 10:57 pm

Tori - This is a terrible, terrible question.

April 28, 2008 - 11:25 pm

bolovesjoe - Yeah, not only is it hard to choose, now you’re also going to have to figure out how to pastor a bunch of people using only three books! That’s even less than Joshua had! Still, I believe in you, Tor. ๐Ÿ™‚