Writer, Church leader, Eccentric Nut, Marketer

I'm Church Leader, Writer, Speaker, Marketer, Kindness Project Founder, Broadcaster and Superhero. But most important I'm a Husband, Father and a worshiper of Jesus.

30 November 2010

You Googled WHAT and found me?

Stats say that every month, there are 2,733,000,00 Google searches done globally. Stats say that in November, 2482 of them found their way to Big Ear Creations. These are the funniest ones.

"your dad no nipples"

NO yo daddy ain't got no nipples. Burn.

"you are insignificant wallpaper"
When you wake up in the morning, there's nothing like the personal touch of 'you are insignificant wallpaper' to remind you of your place in this world. Demoralization Decor is all the rage these days in Paris.

"whats spaecial in december"
Cap on head? Suit that's red? Special night? Beard of white? He's pretty spaecial. I know there aren't many signs of him in the stores but he's very popular. Not a real public figure... more of a grassrooty underground guy.

"who's a person that tells stories about stories"
A very unpopular elderly uncle? A PBS or CBC Radio host? Don Cherry?

"will god hold it against you if you bring your kids out halloween night"
Yes it's very likely. I'd also consider staying away from round haircuts, bacon, condoms, polyester and letting people without testicles into your church. Those and Halloween are burnable offenses.

ugly girl making kissing lips"
Yes... obviously this is something you should Google during your lunch break. I hope you have a fruitful day.

the holy face your passport to heaven"
Define 'the holy face'. Kinda like this?

Done. Now where did I leave my shroud?

"the trinity tattoos"
Theologians and artists have been trying to depict the Holy mystery of the 3 in 1 for Eons. But LA ink made it happen? You went with the vapor/water/ice thing right?

sniff glue worship satan"
It's the only natural progression from huffing. That's what happend to Lloyd Bridges after Airplane. Satan worship.

"rapture funny"
Quoth a post appoloclytic Incredible Hulk

"moving going too fast coyote roadrunner it guys are going too fast"

male sock worship"
Gross. Dang Sodomites. In a Charlton Heston voice, "Thall shalt have no others Gods before me. And that includes stockings"

"how did the fattest man and his wife honeymoon?"
On a flatbed truck?

"fundamentalist barbie"
Finally a barbie pius enough for the saints of God. Blouse buttons done up to the neck. She's judgmental of the whorey cleavage exposing barbies. She proudly recites the begats when you pull the string.

funny looking accountability partner"
I'm thankful that the leadership team appointed Ernie to me. I can talk to him about my secrets and all... but that goiter.

"a child has shouted in my son's ears and now he is complaining his ear hurts"
Let me speak louder then. "IT'S BECAUSE SOMEONE SHOUTED INTO HIS EARS AND SHOUTING IS LOUD" Just happy to be a blessing"

29 November 2010

A hopeful Christmas message of impending beatings in the happy new year

As written for 24/7 Prayer Canada's Advent Blogging

On the first week of Advent, traditionally, we look at Hope. Let’s take a look at the hopeful message of what the Bible promises that we who follow Christ have to look forward to.

We will:

· Be hypocritical, doing the things we desperately hate the most to the point of being the worst of sinners ourselves.
· Be required to walk the hard unpopular road.
· Deal with FRIENDS that WILL put us to death, abandon us when we're poor, avoid us like the plague, ridicule us, cross the street to avoid us, want to blot us from their memory, forget us like a corpse in a grave, discard us like broken dishes in the trash, gossip about us calling us "criminally insane", behind locked doors they will plot how to ruin us good.

…and that's our friends. OK what else?

· People who we love will slander us... and we'll be asked to love them back.
· God may make us blind, sick, covered in boils or afflict us in creative ways for His purposes.
· Our churches often have fighting in them over stupid things
· Our relationships will include MANY misunderstandings and infighting a plenty.
· If someone hits us, we have to offer them other side to hit too.

…so not just a beating but a DOUBLE BEATING! More? How does a physical and metaphorical thorn in your flesh sound?

We’ll be:

· Asked to not worry about the biggest worries our age has ever seen including wars, revolutions, disease, hunger and natural disasters.
· Not allowed to care to much about stuff like buildings, houses, or even how we're going to feed and clothe our families.
· Persecuted... even hauled out of churches to stand trial before high-ranking government officials, maybe be jailed... and maybe even be killed for believing in Jesus

Oh wait there's more...

· Your parents and family may hate you and reject you... they themselves might be the ones who kill you
· You'll likely struggle not to go nuts because of what you're being asked to endure because it will be excruciatingly emotionally and physically demanding.
· God will use you to make arguments that everyone will think are foolish... intentionally.

And if that’s not enough…

There is a supernatural being who will never relent in trying to steal from you, destroy you and kill you. It will use other people… OR it will even use YOU against YOURSELF... or sometime do it will just do it itself.

Fun eh?
What’s hopeful about these enticing prospects?
Because God graciously let us know that we should be expecting it (or some fancy new form of ugliness) in our hopeful new 2011. And like Bill Murray famously rallied the Camp North Star campers in Meatballs… “It just doesn’t matter”

This is how the Message translates Paul’s message of hope in suffering from Romans 5:3-5

“We continue to shout our praise even when we're hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. In alert expectancy such as this, we're never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary—we can't round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit!”

Passionate patience that turns into steel virtue!

See it just doesn’t matter! It's all part of the package… because this world is broken and we only live here for a little while. But believe it or not, it's a beautiful world that God's using you to woo it back to Him. The God who allowed His Son to be born in an animal-feeding trough is in love with you. This Era is a drop in the bucket of time, and frankly it's not half as bad as it sounds because:

1) His presence makes the importance and relevance of EVERYTHING else melt away… leaving you with you a refined, mature, sustaining, redeeming hope.

2) We're called to model Jesus ability to overcome these things. Other people, who don't have the benefit of a personal relationship with God, go through some of the same issues. They need you to help them through. They need… Hope.

27 November 2010

Within five miles of where you live...

From "Ventures in Common Sense" by E W Edgar Watson Howe (1919):

You don't have to wander the earth to find truth. Just...


22 November 2010

Brantford's first ever LIVING NATIVITY

Our city came to us and asked us to make this story a part of Brantford's Christmas experience. And so we're THRILLED to present Brantford's 1st Annual Living Nativity. It will be December 17-19 twice nightly at 7 and 8pm. You'll be a part of a half hour musical Bethlehem experience with animals, angels, shepherds and kings along with Jamie Prokop (lead singer of Mercy Train) as Joseph and recording artist Alisha Mann as Mary. You can stay up to date with the progress at the Facebook Event.

A wide spectrum of people who are my age (mid 30's) and older grew up with the Manger scene being a part of Christmas... to varying degrees. To some it was intrinsically woven into the Christmas experience. To some it was the one annual time they paused to consider the impact and value the 2000 year old story that changed the course of history. Be it culturally, traditionally, spiritually or just habitually... there are MANY people in our cities who have a God trigger somewhere deep down when it comes to Christmas.

When you REALLY think about the message of the manger, it's extraordinarily more powerful than it seems at first glance. Here's how U2's Bono described the moment where the beauty first really hit him.

"I remember coming back from a very long tour. On Christmas Eve I went to St. Patrick’s Cathedral. It had dawned on me before, but it really sank in: the Christmas story. The idea that God, if there is a force of Love and Logic in the universe, that it would seek to explain itself is amazing enough. That it would seek to explain itself and describe itself by becoming a child born in straw poverty, in sh*t and straw... a child, I just thought: “Wow!” Just the poetry. Unknowable love, unknowable power, describes itself as the most vulnerable. There it was. I was just sitting there, and it's not that it hadn't struck me before, but tears came down my face, and I saw the genius of this, utter genius of picking a particular point in time and deciding to turn on this. Because that’s exactly what we were talking about earlier: love needs to find form, intimacy needs to be whispered. To me, it makes sense. It’s actually logical. It’s pure logic. Essence has to manifest itself. It’s inevitable. Love has to become an action or something concrete. It would have to happen. There must be an incarnation. Love must be made flesh."

When you see this poetry brought to life... it stirs something in mankind. It was MEANT to. It's the reason why people grasp at a greater meaning for Christmas. Because there IS a greater meaning.

The reason why we're launching this campaign a month before we actually hit the Harmony Square stage is because (in case you haven't noticed) the Christmas SEASON is already here. It's so you can think about who to open your life and home to; and to share this Living Nativity experience with. It's so you can plan how to use it to change Brantford BY good INTO good. It's so you can make plans to show your kids the Christmas you remember as a child.

Share the link for the video with a friend today http://vimeo.com/17017873

20 November 2010

30 seconds of your time can help change my neighborhood

Do me a "solid" and click here to help out our neighborhood school. Let me explain.

One of the reason's we've planted our family in Eagle Place in Brantford is because of it's reputation. To some, it's not the greatest reputation. Actually... the same goes for Brantford. Places that have everything bore me. I however, LOVE being a part of a good transformation story. Nationally, citywide, churches, spiritually, economically, socially, AND in neighborhoods... and that includes my kid's school too.

BY good INTO good with strategic intention. That's our deal. It's why The Carrol family does what we do.

Joey's Seafood Restaurants
is running a "Community Revival" contest where they are going to invest $25,000 into a community project. Princess Elizabeth School in Eagle Place Brantford DESPERATELY needs a playground. It's a disaster. The surrounding community which includes some CAS projects (that Captain Kindness and the Kindness Project from Freedom House has partnered with before) would greatly benefit from it too. It would change the entire feeling of the neighborhood.

This is an excellent school in an area primed for "revival". We've had people question our judgment letting our kids go to Princess Elizabeth school because of it's "rough" reputation. But the teachers are passionate people with a vision of something better for Eagle Place. I'll partner with that kind of initiative.

Here's the school's YouTube pitch. (My son Jared opens the door and talks about Alexander Graham Bell)

I've written before about my belief that "Creative Capitalism" can be INCREDIBLY effective for profitable business AND genuine community transformation. That's part of what our "Kindness Project" is about. There's nothing random about our kindness plans whatsoever.

I think you should:

  1. Go buy Seafood at Joeys and tell them that you'll be committed intentionally invest your money into business that is committed to kindness.
  2. Take 30 seconds and vote for our " Help a child reach for tomorrow" project.
  3. Share this blog post or the link for the school on Facebook or Twitter. It's a by-vote contest eh!

Dave Carrol

18 November 2010

Jalapenos are breaking up with me

I've suspected it for a while, but my worst fears have been confirmed. Jalapenos are breaking up with me. All the signs are there. And I'm NOT OK with it.

I grew up in a jalapenoless home where my Dad would hunker down over a bowl of less-than-mild chili from a packet sweating profusely. I longed for the heat. I knew there had to be... more.

Then I went to Ghana and discovered little green scalding hot peppers floating in my soup. I was born again. Finally SOUP made sense to me. The trees were greener. The sky was bluer. My lips were on fire... and life was good. Jalapenos and I were in love. We were always together. There was not a sausage that wouldn't be covered by their peppery-goodness. Nachos. Soup. Sandwiches. I have JUST discovered Jalapeno Peanut Butter from Oklahoma for crying out loud!

But something has changed between jalapenos and me. Something is different now. I'm afraid Jalapenos are breaking up with me. They don't treat me well. When I'm with them, everything is good. It seems just like old times. But when we part ways, everything inside me is just... I don't know... turned upside down, upset... just wrong. Sometimes REALLY wrong. And I'm NOT OK with this.

It used to be 24 hours after a jalapeno rendezvous, I'd find myself singing Johnny Cash songs as a joke. I could handle that. Love hurts a bit. But what jalapenos are doing to me is RUINING our relationship. I still love jalapenos. In fact my love for them is only GROWING. They are so much more all-encompassing then I ever realized. They've infiltrated my very way of life. And they're breaking up with me.

Is it over? I've working hard to rekindle the fire over here. My last 3 meals have included them and their by-products. But .... their revenge on my aging body is just ... getting (sob) .... worse. Jalapenos are breaking up with me. And... and .... and... I'm afraid of life without them.

15 November 2010

Frontiers are all around us

“A long time ago, things got broken here. People got sad and left. Maybe the world breaks on purpose, so we can have work to do. People think there aren’t frontiers anymore. They can’t see how frontiers are all around us.”

11 November 2010

No surrender

We busted out of class had to get away from those fools.
We learned more from a three minute record than we ever learned in school.
Tonight I hear the neighborhood drummer sound.
I can feel my heart begin to pound.
You say you're tired and you just want to close your eyes and follow your dreams down.

Now on the street tonight the lights grow dim.
The walls of my room are closing in.
There's a war outside still raging.
I want to sleep beneath peaceful skies in my lover's bed with a wide open country in my eyes and these romantic dreams in my head.

We made a promise we swore we'd always remember.
Like soldiers in the winter's night with a vow to defend;
No retreat baby... no surrender

7 November 2010

The Myth of Elsewhere

John grew up "Here". After brushing his teeth and combing his hair a satisfactory number of times, his father an adequate machinist, would tell John stories of "Elsewhere". John loved "Elsewhere" with all his heart. It was a beautiful, storied land with mountains that shone in the morning sunlight and valleys that smelled of sweet alyssum. Elsewhere, there were men who loved as he imagined love being. That perfect love that poets wrote idyllic sonnets about. A love that John had grown jealous of, being part of the unwashed masses subjected to a birth and rearing "Here".

Here was different than Elsewhere. The sunsets weren't as a red. It's streets were cracked and too many Hereians smoked. Not pipes either. They didn't think twice about it. Monsters really. There were problems Here... and There too. Sometimes John's Father would take the family station wagon "There". "There" had a modest mall where John's father could buy camping supplies for their trip Elsewhere. What a trip this would be. At the end of every month, there would be enough money left over to buy one piece of the expedition gear. A tent here... a Coleman burner there. But the problem with "There" were the Thereians. They were a rude and inconsiderate folk and thought only of themselves. John's father was sure that they had never heard of Elsewhere. You see, Elsewhere was a copious country that the small minds of Hereians and Thereians couldn't comprehend.

John grew to hate Here. And he loathed There.

John's father died. It was not a sad story except to say that hard times had hit Here. So much so that the tent had been sold to buy a stack of canned corn and the Coleman burner had turned into a side of There's finest beef to salt and preserve for the Hereian winter. But John's father's death was sad enough to send John driving for Elsewhere in the willed-wagon without so much as a goodbye. He cursed Here as he sped through town. He'd never "darken a doorway in 'There' again" he shouted as he tore a strip down the common Thereian streets on his mission to Elsewhere.

John drove and drove. The speeding ticket from an unfamiliar county he didn't know existed didn't deter John's zeal for Elsewhere. Finally he arrived. It felt...


6 November 2010

Classically trained British actors dressed as American Hoodlums performing treasured Vaudeville routines

Tonight on "Classically trained British actors dressed as American Hoodlums performing treasured Vaudeville routines" ... "Who's on first" as interpreted by my son and I.

1 November 2010

I'm an asshole

"Asshole" used to be my anthem. If you're a Christian offended by such language... don't be. Because for me, the word was quite literally my legitimate anthem.... and it's a part of my story. In the early 90's, comedian Dennis Leary as part of his "No cure for Cancer" album released a song called "Asshole" that resonated deeply in me at the time.

By definition, an asshole is, "A thoroughly contemptible, detestable person." The song is about someone who is just that. An asshole. And in that season of my life, I fully embraced what it means to be an asshole. No THING or PERSON or TOPIC was off-limits for me. Jokes exposing what I believed to be truth were paramount. Everything else had to die.

I would listen to the song in the morning to get myself into the mood for the day. I'd very literally sharpen my sarcastic and verbally violent edge in the mornings. I'd prepare ways to strategically be an asshole with the goal of reducing people who "believed" in something (anything really) to tears. Tears was the goal and I could do it startlingly often if I really tried and pushed as far as I could. I was extraordinarily good at this. I still am today to be frank. I just choose to not. One day my drama class had an alcoholism style intervention for me in an effort to shut me up in the name of common decency. I was very confused as the people who laughed at my jokes "lynched me" as I saw it. The reality was that I reveled in it.

I was telling this to a longtime friend of mine who didn't know that me today, and he made the comment that he was glad he didn't know me then... because I really was a jerk. And I was. The truth about life, is that the dark things still lurk inside us. Not that far below really.

So why doesn't my friend see me as that person who I still very much am? Because somehow, I've been transformed by the love of Jesus Christ to the point where I'm FREE to be the person I know I CAN be through the glorious gift of GRACE. I don't always act that way, but the desire for what's right, good and pure is present.

This may be my favorite depiction of the idea of grace from the book "Sin Boldly". It's written by Cathlene Falsani out of her discussion with Pastor Jean Larroux

"I think one of the greatest temptations for ministers is to talk about our sin in neatly packaged sermon illustrations so I can clean it up and sterilize it to the place where it's actually a subtle illustration of my victorious application of Jesus rather than a true illustration of the fact that I'm an asshole." This made me laugh out loud, settle in, and urge him to continue. "I mean, I come into work and I've got all this stuff going on and I snap at somebody and I'm just a real, live asshole. And grace in that moment, you can't neatly package. It's somebody throwing their arms around you and saying, 'I love you, but you are an asshole'"

Yes, but you're MY asshole, I envision God saying.

"Grace doesn't deny my assholeness," Jean said, "Grace can't be amazing until your sin is amazing. You've got to get in that place where you can be startled by it, because if you do everything right, you don't deserve it."

As I write this... I'm laying on the ground listening to a room full of University Students worship and pray in a 24/7 Prayer room. It's pretty beautiful really. Somehow, I've become a "leader" quote unquote. And I'm still an asshole in many ways. But I'm God's asshole... because what his son did for me. Receiving this forgiveness and grace unlocked me to touch places of freedom and beauty that I didn't know was there. It's allowed me to breathe rarefied air as I grow. I couldn't recommend it more.

Grace isn't an excuse not to change... it's the the freedom and context to do so.

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