Mike Yaconelli, a guy

Mike Yaconelli, a guy I was really growing to admire from a distance, died last night in a car accident. Mike was an enigmatic, counter-cultural icon who managed to retain that edge for three or four decades. He was a revolutionary thinker in youth ministry back (way back) when my Dad was a youth guy, and he continued to inspire and teach and serve and lead to his last days. His heart beat for students, but his contributions as a champion of grace and Christ-following are Kingdom-wide. You’d do yourself a favor to give a few short hours of your life to this book: Messy Spirituality – God’s annoying love for imperfect people.

It’s wild how we can be lulled into a numbness to one of the most obvious, undisputed realities in life — physical death comes to us all, and we don’t get to pick when any more than we got to pick our birth date. Oddly, it often takes the end of someone of personal significance to us (even if we don’t actually know them, as in this case with me) to sort of shake us from that ignorance or avoidance or whatever it is. We may be able to escape thoughts of death for a season, but there’s no escaping its eventual reality. Tonight I’m thankful for death-swallowing Victory…for Mike, for you, and for me.

For those who are wondering,

For those who are wondering, the first Tyson picture is legit. He showed up at a Lakers preseason game with those Free Kobe signs. Imagine what Kobe must have felt when he looked up and saw Iron Mike there campaigning for his freedom. Justice comes in all sorts of funny little packages. I wonder if it occurred to Mike that he was holding up signs urging the freedom of someone who is free enough to be on an NBA sideline. Yo Mike, he is free. I also wonder if Mike realizes that stunts like this make everyone all the more sure he’s guilty of his own crimes (pick one). What innocent person immediately jumps to the defense of someone else accused of a crime they very well may have committed? Actually, I don’t wonder those things. After all, Mike’s IQ is 17. Anyway, Matt doctored the original photo and sent me the IQ version. I liked his work and had him put together the one in Mike-bonics.

And, if you haven’t seen Mike lately, no one doctored his face. Apparently his unblemished record of pathological behavior didn’t make him seem like enough of a psychopath on first glance, so he had some tattoos added to his mug. This way, if you see him on the street, you’ll immediately know that he wants to eat your children instead of having to get to know him to find that out. Fo thizzle.

Game 4: Marlins 4, Damn

Game 4: Marlins 4, Damn Yankees 3

He may be a horn and a Yankee, but a tip of the cap to Roger Clemens at the end of a brilliant Kareer. There’s not much worth exalting in pro sports these days, but the show of respect from the Marlins team and fans as Clemens left the game tonight was something special. I’m still a football and basketball fan too, but I think baseball is the only one of the big three that has maintained any consistent hold on respect and class. Yeah, they’re millionaires and there are plenty of jackasses carrying bats, but there is still a prevailing level of sportsmanship that you don’t find anywhere else.

Hey, hey, hey…. Happy trails

Hey, hey, hey….

Happy trails to Fred Berry, better known as Rerun on What’s Happening!! and What’s Happening Now!, who checked out today at age 52. (I’m slightly disturbed to discover Rerun was only a year younger than my Dad, by the way.) I spent more Saturday evenings than I can remember winding down after long days of street football and assorted mischief watching (ahem) reruns of Raj, Dwayne, Dee, Mama (who I don’t think had a real name), Shirley, and Rerun. I know those shows probably catch flack for perpetuating some stereotypes, and maybe deservedly so. But count me as one white boy who credits a small piece of his cultural appreciation to thirty minutes a week with these folks…

Anyway you cut it, Fred lived quite a life. I’m not sure he ever took the red beret off, and I saw him doing that dance on TV not too long ago. He battled through drug and alcohol problems in the 80’s and eventually became a Baptist minister (let’s maybe leave that one alone). The tale of the tape also shows he may be the only man alive to have been married six times, but to only four women. Have fun with that one.

Memo to the Folks at

Memo to the Folks at Subway:

We get it. Jared isn’t so fat anymore. Enough already.

Did anyone else notice they’ve changed their pitch to, “Have a Subway for lunch, and you can cross dress and eat deep fried pork drippings the rest of the day?”

Apparently the “If you’re a 750-pound tub, you can lose weight by eating dry lettuce sandwiches on whole wheat every meal for the rest of your life” bit wasn’t playing so well. Shocker.